Perhaps the most important aspect of any one community is realizing the role you have within your own.
Often times we like to retreat back to our homes after a long day of work, and not have to respond to anyone or anything until it’s time to go to bed. Just sit back in our recliners in front of the television and watch Aaron Judge and the Yankees. This behavior doesn’t benefit the overall community. But, this self maintained role helps define what the community needs and where it can potentially draw answers from.
Last weekend volunteer firehouses across the state participated in a concerted effort to recruit firefighters from within their respective communities through the RecruitNY initiative.
They were looking for people like you, possibly. According to the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, the number of volunteer firefighters has dropped from 120,000, to as low as 80,000, throughout the state. Recently, those numbers have climbed up, but not to the same level as nearly 30 years ago.
The volunteer firefighter may be the best example of altruistic dedication to one’s neighbor. Firefighters go through more than 100 hours of training that is required to allow them to fight fires from both outside and inside structures. These are hours that take place outside of their own 40-hour a week job. That’s time spent away from friends and family, ultimately taking months before obtaining certification. And, they don’t get paid.
Incredibly, those who respond to an emergency call respond within minutes. A firehouse has less than five minutes to respond to a call before county dispatch moves on to neighboring houses. That’s a decision to drop activities at home, with family, to suit up and help another town resident to safety.
Not all of us can be firefighters. And, not all of us care to risk our lives and make the unseen sacrifices to become one, either. For that reason, we all should give thanks to our local firefighters. They all do an incredible job and bring pride to our community as a whole.
We at Spotlight News say thank you.
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